Lance Armstrong is one of the most recognized athletes on the planet. He’s a cancer survivor and the only person to have ever won 7 Tours de France. But, have you ever heard of Chechu Rubiera? He’s a pretty accomplished professional bike rider too. He has won stages of the Giro d’Italia and team stages in the Tour de France. He has finished in the top 10 in both the Giro and the Vuelta a Espana.

But something else you may not know about Rubiera is that he was on Lance Armstrong’s team when Armstrong won 5 of his 7 Tours. Cycling is an odd sport. I’m an addict. I can watch several hours of guys on bikes riding up and down mountains. Maybe cycling fans are odd too… But what’s amazing and I think unique about cycling is that although one guy gets a victory – wins a stage or a grueling three week race – they can’t do it on their own. Their team is crucial to their victory. The team shields them from the wind, paces them up the hills, protects them from the hustle and bustle within the peloton, fetches food and water, and generally buries themselves in the hope that the team leader can get the win.

What does this have to do with Customer Intelligence? Not much, actually. This post is personal.

Yesterday, I completed my first Forrester Forum Keynote at our Marketing Forum in Los Angeles. That was about Customer Intelligence. The feedback has been amazing – and extremely humbling. I’ve been overwhelmed by the emails, text messages, and tweets complimenting the speech. To all of you that commented, Thank You! I’m delighted to have been able to spend time educating so many people about the role of Customer Intelligence, and how it can make marketing and businesses more successful.

But a Forrester forum keynote is a bit like a bike race. I couldn’t have completed it without an amazing team of people that brainstormed with me, listened to me rehearse, and made brilliant and insightful suggestions for how to improve. My ‘victory’ yesterday was hard earned, but while I’ve been getting the compliments, it really shouldn’t have been all about me. I was standing on the shoulders of some Forrester giants – If you don’t already know and work with these people, I can’t recommend highly enough that you start to do so. My Giants? My Chechus?

Instead of a #FollowFriday, I’m giving a #ShoutOutSunday, and a heartfelt thank you to:

Suresh Vittal
Carl Doty
Emily Murphy
Zach Hofer-Shall
Victoria Bough
David Cooperstein
Christine Overby
Craig Gould
Harley Manning
Elisa Jaramillo
Katie Petroff
Patti Freeman-Evans
Ed Khan
Bradley Lundquist

With these guys on my team, I can’t wait to go climb the next mountain.

Who are the giants on who’s shoulders you stand? Who are your Chechus? Take a minute this week to let them know.